Max Biaggi will retire as a champion, announcing his decision to step away from the sport after winning his second World Superbike Championship by just half a point.
The man known as the Corsair and the Roman Emperor announced his retirement this morning at a press conference at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome, Italy. Biaggi ends his 21-year international racing career with six world championships, with four consecutive 250cc Grand Prix titles from 1994 to 1997 to go along with his 2010 and 2012 WSBK titles.
All but one of Biaggi’s titles were won on Aprilia machines with his 1997 250cc World Championship recorded on a Honda. By retiring now, Biaggi leaves on his own terms while still a competitive racer, turning down a contract extension with Aprilia.
Biaggi retires with 21 race wins in WSBK, 13 race wins in 500cc/MotoGP world championship and six top-three championship finishes, and 29 wins in the 250cc Grand Prix class.
Here is a translated transcript of Biaggi’s announcement:
“It ‘s been the longest night, but I’m happy to leave now. I do not want to be like politicians attached to the chair. I thought about it a lot, I said to myself continuous 1 or 2 years or I stop? And I decided to leave now. The family has counted in my decision. I think I’ve taken enough time to my children and my wife and I think it is right to devote to them because time passes and you can not stop. But today I want it to be a sad day. I quit because I want to stop and not because I was not competitive. I have written important pages in the history of motorcycles. I gave up a contract with Aprilia identical to that of this year, same money, same bike, but I leave with no regrets. In fact I thank all those who have accompanied me in these 20 years. It ‘was still a very hard choice, but not forced by anyone, today let stand on my legs, others had serious injuries. I’m thinking of a collaboration with the Aprilia off the track, you will soon have news about it. ”
Aprilia released its own statement thanking Biaggi for his years with the brand.
Aprilia Racing and the Piaggio Group wish to thank Max Biaggi on this, the day when he has announced his retirement from racing, for his extraordinary contribution to the world of sports and the Aprilia image.
From the first championship title he won in 1994 in the 250 class to the Rider and Manufacturer titles won this year on the Aprilia RSV4 in World SBK, Aprilia’s history in competitive motorcycling has been inextricably connected to the Max’s efforts, winning unforgettable victories and becoming the only Italian rider to have ever triumphed in World Superbike. Max won five of his six world titles astride bikes from Noale in addition to winning 41 races and riding his way to 43 podiums: he is without question the most victorious Aprilia rider ever, as well as one of the greatest players in motorcycle sports on a global level. The Piaggio Group extends warmest wishes of happiness and success to Max Biaggi in his personal endeavours and in any new professional activities that he may undertake.